GROW FOOD slow food Have your garden and eat it too. A practical guide to organic gardening in the sub-tropics with step-by-step instructions and delicious seasonal recipes. Come with me too on some of my travels in Australia, Europe, Asia and beyond.

I love coconut in all it’s forms – fresh coconut milk; succulent fresh white flesh; shredded and toasted on Balinese pancakes with lime and, of course, chocolate Bounty bars!.  A Swedish nutritionalist once told me that it was something to do with my blood type. This theory was confirmed for her by the fact that I also have blonde hair and I also love eggs and lemons/limes?.  (I hope this means that I can, without guilt, eat two or three pieces of this deliciously moist and tangy cake?)

But, in truth, it has now been raining for over a week, and I mean lashing rain – Mullumimby style, and I needed the smell of coconut cake cooking in the house rather than moulds growing!

I also had my first beautiful crop of limes from a tree I planted a couple of years ago. (I do find that citrus need a couple of years to settle in before they start bearing fruit).

I have been trying out variations on this recipe for a couple of years and this if by far the best.  The cake also came out evenly cooked with no cracks in it!! (Well, one small one)

Coconut and Lime Syrup Cake

Melted butter (optional), for greasing
250g unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
220g (1 cup) caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
4 large eggs, at room temperature
250g (1 2/3 cups) plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
135g (1 1/2 cups) desiccated coconut
Extra coconut to serve

The family got to it before I could take a photo!.  Delicious with Greek yoghurt or cream

Lime Syrup
4 limes
165g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
185mls (3/4 cup) water

Step 1
Preheat oven to 170°C. Brush a 25cm springform pan with melted butter and line the bottom with non-stick baking paper.

Step 2
Beat butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer or hand beaters on high until smooth. Add caster sugar and vanilla essence and beat, scraping down sides of bowl, until very pale (almost white) and creamy.

Step 3
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl frequently until light and well combined. Sift together the flour and baking powder. Gently fold the flour mixture and coconut into the butter mixture until combined.

Step 4
Spoon cake mixture into the cake pan and smooth surface. Bake in preheated oven for 50-55 minutes or until cooked through and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Step 5
Meanwhile, to make lime syrup, peel rind from 2 limes with a vegetable peeler. Remove white pith from rind with a small, sharp knife (otherwise the syrup will be bitter) and then cut rind into very thin strips. Juice all 4 limes. Combine lime rind, 80mls (1/3 cup) of lime juice, sugar and water in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and simmer, uncovered, over medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Step 6
When cake is cooked, remove from oven and stand in pan for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack. Place rack over a large plate or tray to catch any drips and pour hot syrup slowly and evenly over cake. Cool. Serve decorated with reserved lime rind strips and sprinkled with extra coconut, if desired.